There is an emerging pattern within my soul that I am starting to take note of as this 13 month study of Celebration of Discipline begins…
I will do just about anything in order to KEEP me from spending time with God.
I began to notice it when I got the study questions guide to COD. I was and am very much excited to take this time to be refreshed, heal from past wounds and hurts, and move forward with Jesus. I read the introduction and the questions it raised on how to really apply these truths to my soul.
I got my answers. I saw what a changed Sean would look like…and then it happened.
I simply stopped. Stopped reading, stopped journaling, in many ways stopped listening. I recognized that a changed Sean would have to go through changes in order to be changed. It sounds so simple and yet how quickly we forget.
Richard Foster says that when we go through this process of truly discovering what it means to live for Jesus, “We will not only be save by grace, but we will live by it.”
It is what I so desperately crave for myself and those around me, yet, the thought scares me. A closeness with God that really can be described as, “He walks with me and talks with me,” would mean a continuous change in my thinking, comfort level, lifestyle that I don’t want to give up.
So I clean, read Christian books (yes, run from Jesus by reading about Him), watch TV, take out the trash, do laundry, meet up with friends, watch movies where I can quote the credits the credits I have seen them so much, give my iPhone and new apps my undivided attention. I will do just about anything to give God His time, “because we cannot be in the presence of God and not change for to be in His presence is to change.”
The most beautiful thing about all of this is that God is revealing to me the depth of my sin, my spiritual apathy, and yet at the same time is working in me to change/remove it.
Foster concludes his introduction by saying we shouldn’t be surprised the sin patterns the Lord reveals to us. Recognizing it won’t change it and our will power won’t change it either. What we need is an inside job, and only God can work on the inside.
Not your pastor, not your books, not your devotional time. Only God. The Disciplines slow us down and place us in His presence so that He may change us.
This…is only the introduction of the book! I have a feeling this is going to be one of the best years of my life!